Soldier of Sixties Relates Experiences

C. W. Simmons was born in Tennessee, April 30, 1844, and when six months of age his parents moved to what is now known as Brice's Cross Roads, where they settled on a farm.

In 1862, when but 17 years of age, he entered the Confederate Army , serving a year in another man's stead. In the first 16 days of his service he was engaged in 5 battles. After the year was up he enlisted in Co. K, 11th Miss. Calvary, where he served two more years. During the three years service he fought in 36 battles, although a greater portion of his time was spent in scout service.

At the Battle of Iuka , the Confederates were beaten back and in his retreat his horse mired down in the mud. Under heavy fire and while his comrades were moving on he worked trying to recover his steed but was finally forced to go afoot while bullets, like hail, were whistling and popping about him.

At one time while on picket duty he was forgotten at his post and stayed on duty for twice his time. In his weariness he fell in a daze, and except for the timely warning of an ant which had crawled in his ear, he would have been caught asleep on duty and doubtless court-martialed.
At Selmer, Tenn., he noticed one of his comrades shooting his pistol in the air. His Captain came by and told him to level his gun, whereupon the soldier jumped up and ran . The Captain ordered him to stop or he would shoot, and the man replied, "Why Captain, they are all running," and sure enough the boys were retreating and the Yanks were coming over the breastworks, leaving only the captain, Simmons, and the man from behind the log to seek safety as best they could.
The next morning after the battle of Florence, Ala., Simmons wanted a furlough home, but upon asking the Provost Marshal, he was denied a pass. Then he, together with six others, slipped away and started for Baldwyn. On their way they came to a bridge that was washed away. Some of the boys turned back, but Simmons/ with two or three others, swam the stream, leading their horses behind them, and arrived home in time to hear the news of the surrender, and he did not have to return to duty.

On Christmas, 1864, Simmons was married to Miss Aciniath Houston Walden, daughter of William A. Walden, west of Wheeler, and to them were born nine children, of whom four are living, John W. Simmons, Booneville; F. L. Simmons, Melrose, New Mexico: W. E. Simmons, Lindsey, Oklahoma; and Mrs. Emma Jones, Mayesville Oklahoma. His wife died December 29, 1917, since which time he has been living with his son in Oklahoma.

While in his teens he was converted in a union meeting at Mt. Olive. He joined the Methodist Church, of which he has been a continuous member since.

According to the laws of nature, Mr. Simmons has not many more years to be with us, but he is prepared, and whenever the Great General calls his name he is ready to answer "Here, Master" and fall in line for the last review.

SOURCE,: The Booneville Independent, Friday, August 26,1927

Submitted by:  Ruby Rorie

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